A SECOND national lockdown would be catastrophic.
Thousands of cancer sufferers have died since the start of the pandemic as a direct result of missed surgeries and screenings.
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London ambulance crews now attend an average of 37 suicides or attempted suicides per day, compared with 22 this time last year.
And it’s beyond reasonable doubt that the Stay At Home messaging led to a rise in heart attack deaths between March and July.
That’s before we get to the long-term health effects of plunging thousands into unemployment.
And what would it be for?
Yes, Sage modelling paints a stark picture. But real, current data from the ONS suggests Covid cases have NOT “spiralled out of control” — and deaths remain normal for this time of year.
We see why government scientists want a five-week lockdown: they’re up to their eyes in grim Covid predictions.
But we worry that, in their panic, they’ve lost sight of the bigger picture.
The virus is dangerous. But lockdowns are too.
So long, furlough
WE’RE not surprised Rishi Sunak is pulling the plug on the furlough scheme this weekend.
The programme made complete sense at the height of the pandemic, when restrictions meant thousands simply could not work.
But those STILL on furlough eight months after the first peak are now hugely unlikely to be taken back by their employers.
And it makes no sense for the Government to be propping up non-existent jobs with taxpayer money.
Instead, the Chancellor must find other ways to help the newly unemployed.
Making it easy for companies to hire those looking for work is a must — so a break in National Insurance contributions for small firms would be wise.
Extending the £20-a-week Universal Credit pandemic cash beyond April is surely a no-brainer, too.
It has been a vital safety net for those teetering on the edge of poverty.
And we have no doubt that it will still be needed come Spring.
GOOD on German leaders for admitting that whatever happens in the next stage of the Brexit talks, they need and want a good relationship with Britain.
Jumped-up EU technocrats — who aren’t directly accountable to voters — seem determined to punish us for getting our sovereignty back.
But the truth is that if we don’t find a way to get along, ordinary people across Europe will suffer.
Let’s hope France and Spain soon follow in Germany’s footsteps.
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